It is important to note that this decline occurred at the end of the marketing year. Sales to foodservice, retail, and exports, were up for the July – December 2019 period.
Foodservice sales have been accounting for a greater and greater share of total potato sales in the U.S., peaking at 58% in marketing year 2019. This upward trend was reversed in MY20, with the foodservice share dropping to 53% of the total.
Source: Marketing Year 20 Sales & Utilization Report, Potatoes USA
For the marketing year, retail sales were up 8.7%, an increase of 1.3 million pounds. From a percentage perspective, frozen and dehydrated saw the largest growth, both with an increase of over 15%. Potato chips, the largest volume category at retail, increased by 5.5%, and fresh was up by 9.5% for the marketing year.
Within fresh sales, russets increased by 10%, yellows increased by 13%, and whites increased by 16%. The only decline was for reds, which were down 5% due to supply issues.
The impact of COVID restrictions was uneven, impacting limited-service restaurants the least. Therefore, frozen sales were only down 10%. However, since full-service restaurants suffered a much greater decline in sales, fresh potato sales to foodservice were down by 19%.